Maharashtra COVID Spike: What Are the New Restrictions?
On Thursday, 19 February, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope took to Twitter to announce that he has tested positive for covid-19, saying “My corona test came back positive. I am in good health and I am consulting a doctor.”
“Anyone who comes in contact with me should be careful and get your corona tested immediately if symptoms appear,” he added.
Earlier in the day Maharashtra water resources minister and state NCP chief Jayant Patil too had tested positive for coronavirus, reported Times of India.
This news comes amidst the sudden spike in cases of covid infection in Maharashtra over the last couple of weeks, prompting fear of a second wave, and a new set of covid restrictions by the civic bodies.
Since the weekend, when over 4k positive cases were reported on Sunday alone, Maharashtra has seen 3365 new cases on Monday, 16 February, and 3663 cases on Tuesday.
Yesterday, 18 February, saw 5427 new cases of covid which is the highest number of positive cases Maharashtra has had in one day in over 2 months.
The worrying spike in covid cases has led the Maharashtra government to impose restrictions which it was initially reluctant to do.
This includes lockdown in 2 districts of the state. While a 10-day lockdown was announced in Yavatmal, a weekend lockdown was imposed in Amravati, reported NDTV.
Announcing the lockdown, Amravati collector Shailesh Naval said, "Due to increase in COVID-19 cases, we are imposing a one-day lockdown in Amravati district from Saturday evening 8 pm till Monday morning 7 am".
“Markets, swimming pools and indoor games, will remain closed, while only five people will be allowed at religious ceremonies, he said. Essential services, however, will remain unaffected.”Shailesh Naval, Amravati Collector
"I request people to follow Covid rules and isolation rules or else we will have to take more strict measures," he added.
New COVID Restrictions in Mumbai
With 736 cases being reported in Mumbai alone on Thursday, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, too, has announced a fresh set of restrictions in order to clamp down on the rising numbers in the city.
- Buildings with more than 5 COVID-19 patients will be sealed.
- Marriage halls, restaurants, gyms and other places of gathering are to be strictly checked for covid-appropriate behaviour.
- Hands of the patients staying in home quarantine will be stamped for better identification.
- About 300 marshals will be deployed to monitor people travelling in local trains without masks.
- People returning from Brazil will also have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine, as a precaution against the highly infectious Brazillian strain.
The BMC also said that citizens flouting rules for home isolation, weddings, and public gatherings will be prosecuted.
“It’s a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don’t wear masks. People must take precautions or we will head towards another lockdown,” said Mayor Kishori Pednekar.
Meanwhile, the number of tests is also to be raised, and the vaccination drive is to continue.
(Written with inputs from Times of India.)
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